The Pirate Tower Of Victoria Beach
The Mystery of The Pirate Tower
Victoria Beach a white sandy beach located in Laguna Beach, CA. On he north side of this secluded beach stands a tower. The old structure as it turns out was built as a spiral staircase access to the beach from the residence above in 1926. The castle like tower is a must see for the adventurer and photographer like me.
Victoria Beach is one of Laguna’s most private public beaches and it is not easy to find. To say that the parking is limited would be a huge understatement.
Apparently many OC residents are not even familiar with nor have ever been to Victoria Beach. After trying to find it myself, I can totally understand why. The corner of Victoria and Sunset is the pathway.
After looking for somewhere to park for about a good half hour I was even more anxious to see this mysterious storybook like tower. I found myself wondering why it was called ‘Pirate Tower’, were there pirates that once pillaged and plundered in the area by night and hid out there at night, drinking rum and counting their gold… or was it some mystical abandoned tower known to be haunted by a ghostly figure spotted by couples during romantic beach strolls on the nights of the full moon. My mind was creating all sorts of scenarios, which was okay since I had quite a walk to get there.
Here is the stairway leading to the beach, you can see there is no signs.
To get to Victoria from the North, take PCH traveling South from Main Beach, you want to make a right turn on Victoria Drive just after Rockledge Rd and Terrace. Continue on Victoria to where it intersects with Sunset Terrace. There you will find a staircase leading to the beach. From the South, traveling North on PCH, make a Right at the light at Nyes Place and go about 50 feet and turn LEFT on Victoria Drive and go under PCH.
The stairs are well kept up and short steps, it’s a pretty easy trek to the bottom. Climbing back up is a bit more challenging but hey, who can’t use a little cardio.
There are no amenities at Victoria Beach. No restrooms, water etc… There is volley ball nets at both ends of the beach. I also saw a photography workshop in session (which I will be pursuing in the near future) happy face. The waves are pretty rough on this beach, not very small children friendly.
Definitely stay on the lookout for random waves that can sweep you away, no REALLY. I was here in May and it was pretty rocky near the tower, I have read that in the winter it is covered with sand. I will for sure be testing that theory come Fall.
We were here during a semi high tide, low tide would have made it much easier to explore.
According to a report written by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, both the house and tower were built in 1926 for the family of William E. Brown, a state senator representing California’s 37th district, and a frequent Christian Science lecturer.
There is a touch of truth to the pirate legend, though. According to OC Weekly Brown sold the property in the 1940s to a retired Naval officer from Los Angeles named Harold Kendrick. It was then that the building took on a pirate-related mystique. Kendrick was known for dressing himself up as a seafaring plunderer and hiding coins in the tower’s many crevices. Neighborhood kids would scour the staircase for hidden treasure, and what they found, they were allowed to keep.
The tower was most recently owned by Bette Midler. She and her husband entered into a Mills Contract with the city in 1997. Passed in 1972, the Mills act provides tax relief for homeowners who actively participate in the restoration and maintenance of their historic properties.
The white rocks and crystal gems that make up this cliff are very cool. My son and I spent some time looking at all the different varieties.
Here was our biggest reward in venturing down here that day. As we were getting ready to challenge our legs on the climb back up those steps, my son shouts “Mom, what is that look!”
It was 2 whales, they were so close to the shore. Which also tells me this beach drops off to some pretty deep water really quick. It appears to be a Momma with her baby. It was so magical.
Midway through watching these majestic creatures 2 young teens run towards the whales, dove in the water and started swimming towards the whales as fast as they could. It was tragic. I can’t believe the ignorance. Of course the 2 gracefully swam off into deeper water. I was so sad that it ended. I can only imagine how it would be to live on this cliffside neighborhood and watch this sort of thing all of the time. Aaah daydream in motion.
If you are serious about visiting Victoria Beach, I suggest that you do it in early in the morning or later in the day. Remember the parking is basically none. Or just stay tuned to my blog and catch my next trip here! Oh and enjoy!!
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Nikki Zamora at email@example.com